We Don't Need Your Stinkin' Book
Okay, they didn't say it like that. But when a library patron offered to purchase a copy of Melanie Phillips' Londonistan (radical Islam in Britain) for the Brooklyn Public Library in New York, he received a curiously cold response:
Thank you for your question. Normally, the library doesn't add a nonfiction title to the collection (and especially one that is potentially incendiary) unless a review from a trusted source (professional journals) can be found. Unfortunately, we have not found such a review for Londonistan. Therefore, at this time, the library will not be adding Londonistan to the collection.
So says Wayne Roylance, Adult Selection Coordinator for the library.
Oh really, Wayne? If Michael Moore's new book or Al Franken's new screed has not been reviewed in a "professional journal," you would not accept it?
And what's with "potentially incendiary?" Is that in the American Library Association's position on censorship? Please give space to a variety of viewpoints, unless one is potentially incendiary, in which case, forget it.
Can we assume that donations of potentially incendiary books by Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill, or any of a dozen left-wing authors who specialize in blaming Israel for the world's problems will be rejected, especially if there are no reviews in professional journals?
I wonder if this will be the least bit controversial in ALA circles. Whatever happens, I am consistently floored by the attitude of so many from the "anti-censorship" crowd.